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Roy's Pacheco's life safari


Roy Pacheco

Our parents, who migrated to East Africa, dreamed of one day retiring to Goa.  I, and many of my contemporaries, banished to Canada by the Ugandan tyrant, General Idi Amin, still yearn for the days of our carefree early life in Africa. Luck and destiny (and I suppose a general ingrained belief that God would take care of the details) helped to shape our lives.
After finishing School in Nairobi, I was lucky to find a job as an apprentice to a major air-conditioning company in Nairobi, Kenya. The European manager had a special liking for the hard-working Goan community. As an apprentice, I got to do all the grungy jobs required in disassembling, fixing and handing over a fully functioning unit. We took great pride in our work. Our management always preached that a satisfied customer would bring in our next project. And so I worked hard, learned a lot and eventually became a fully-fledged Engineer. I would now travel as a trouble-shooter to the various branches of our company all over East Africa (comprising Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).
In the early sixties, the three countries had become independent from their colonial rulers. Many Goans stayed behind to work. There were new opportunities opening up. In 1965, I was transferred to Kampala, the Uganda capital. One day we got a call from the fish-processing plant TUFMAC in the village of Kasese, in Uganda, located right in the center of Queen Elizabeth National Park, on Lake George. Kasese is approximately 345 kilometers (214 miles) by road west from Kampala. It is almost on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Tony, my Engineer was a Lebanese and I served as his apprentice. As such, my job was to look after every other aspect of the project (and sometimes after Tony). After loading up the service car, we set out for the first stop on our safari -- a town called Fort Portal located west of Kampala. 
The roads alternated between awful and non-existent. We almost rolled the car coming down a hill!  After passing Fort Portal, we headed south to the Kasese area and Bauman Village, so called because the fish-processing company by that name employed the whole population. We arrived about 5:30 p.m. and the first thing we looked for was a place where we could get something to eat. Apparently, the local shop was closed, forcing us to drive another 20 miles to a Greek-owned shop close to Uganda/Congo border on the road leading into the Ruwenzori Mountains. After picking up a few basics--milk, bread, butter and a can of Corned beef--we returned to the village.
I was ravenous and hoping to eat before starting work. Tony however decided to take a look at the broken-down machine first. So, I grabbed the toolbox and we made our way towards the crippled freezer unit. 
 I had never seen anything this colossal in my life. (It was a Jackston-Froster freezing system), and I was beginning to doubt our abilities to fix this monster. However, Tony was already at work. He pulled out a whole bunch of wires, and started to replace them one by one -- and this without the benefit of a wiring diagram. It must have been fifteen minutes before he stood up and smacked his lips and asked me to throw the main switch.
I went over hesitantly, instinctively made the sign of the cross, and did so, putting both hands over my ears, expecting a big bang! Nothing happened! The system was on a timer, which eventually clicked on. I soon heard a whine here and then there, and soon, everything started to hum smoothly like a Mercedes Benz engine.
  He winked at me with a smile on his face.
“Roy, go find the foreman. He may wish to announce that the workers can return to work in the morning.”
“Will do,” I replied and set off in the direction of the factory office. We returned to Tony sitting on a log, smoking a cigarette.
I was now very hungry and it was getting dark. We asked the foreman where we were to spend the night, and were directed to a whitewashed building with a thatched roof. I grabbed the ‘dinner’ still in its paper wrapping from the Greek store, now warm from the sun-heated car and l entered the shack. It had a tiny kitchen, and toilet with a flush system and two small bedrooms with a single bed in each. 
 It was still daylight, and then I saw these wild buffalo and a couple of elephants about 100 yards away. I must have looked nervous!  The foreman just said “Don’t worry, they are used to human beings, but one thing... if you hear funny noises at night, it is only the elephants scratching their backs on the thatched roof.’’
 After devouring our dinner, we turned in to sleep. 
 Man! When I turned off the light in my bedroom, was it pitch dark! The luminous dials on my watch were like spotlights!
At about 2:00 a.m. I heard screams coming from Tony’s room. He seemed to be very agitated; he was yelling that there is something in his room. I had warned him earlier that in case of an emergency, to just run for the car. The keys were in the ignition, but that he should come and get me first!  But that did not happen. I grabbed my pants and slid them over my shorts, slipped on my shoes and rushed to his room. I switched on the light and lo and behold, there was a bird fluttering around the overhead light. We both laughed about it. I opened the window gently let the bird out, and eventually we went back to sleep.
The next morning, after finishing off the remaining bread and butter, I couldn’t help bantering with Tony and asked him about his fear of a little bird. He told me he had a nightmare! As it happened, at that time Beirut was engulfed in a civil war--Christians vs. Muslims--and everybody carried a gun. Food was very scarce and any flying creature was a potential meal, with the result such things were a rarity, which is why a little bird scared Tony so much. I realized Tony was paying a price from the childhood trauma of growing up in a war zone - a nightmare from which he had still not recovered.
The next morning, we drove back to Kampala but this time, decided to take another route back because of the road conditions. We took the road via Mbarara and Masaka. 
 At about 2:30 p.m. we stopped by a duka (shop) run by an Indian to get some pop, bread and something to nibble on.  As I glanced around, I spotted a crucifix hanging on a wall. I asked the shopkeeper if he was a Goan.
“Yes.” he said.
“So am I,” I responded. That got us both an invitation to lunch cooked by his wife, Soledad! They were very happy to see one of their own in their God-forsaken outpost. They talked nostalgically about one day returning to Goa and drinking Feni again. Out came the inevitable whiskey bottle, and soon it became obvious (even to us) we were not sober enough to drive! 
 So we were invited to use a spare bed to spend the night.
After a delicious breakfast of chapattis, kalchi kori , and a milky tea, we were on our way, and made it safely to Kampala.
As I write now, I realize how lucky I was to get these opportunities to hone my technical skills. More important, it has been such a rich experience to work with a range of people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and religions, cultures and traditions. I now feel the first gust of a chilly autumn breeze that heralds our harsh Canadian winter. Perhaps I won’t say no to a visit to Africa or Goa.

Please reply, if you wish you read more of my work experiences in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania. And the UK.
Many thanks!

Old Farts

Contributions welcome!

At the urinal:
Jaydek: How many drops today?
Jo-Boy: Four. And you?
Jaydek: two. Boy (no pun intended), your prostate is working well.
Jo-Boy: Now go and wash those evil eyes of yours in Dettol.
Jaydek: Bring the chillies and the salt.

Historical Bowral in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales is a gem of a town. I have never seen it anything but green it is dressed with the finest greenery you can find in Australia and its flowers and gardens are to die for.
Its lush green meadows have been ideal for grazing since the area was first discovered in the late 1700s. Thus grazing and cattle-breeding has continued to drive the economy. Bowral became, an still, is the commercial centre of the Southern Highlands, as well as a service centre to the surrounding properties.

According to the Traveller, “Today Bowral is a decidedly up-market, some would say yuppified, tourist centre full of boutiques, gift shops, antique dealers, restaurants and cafes, bookshops and art galleries. It is possessed of a healthy climate and scenery reminiscent of rural England. There are a number of excellent municipal parks and playgrounds. With an economy focused on tourism, vegetables, dairying and grazing the current population is over 8000.”
It is a genteel kind of place with a good mixture of young people and the greying generation.

A couple of fellas are sitting in the verandah of a home in Bowral. There is an Esky within reach either of them and they have both feet on the verandah’s railing. “This is the life,” says 80-year-old Marlon (not Brando), a former wheat, cattle and this-and-that farmer. “God’s truth,” trumpets young Jason (Jacko), a 78-year-old former butcher. The two have been friends since kindergarten and have life paths of soldiering, celebrating, at every opportunity, the sweet bird of youth, then finding their working paths and sticking with it. Each was the best man at their other’s wedding, and a pall bearer at the funeral of each other’s wives. They have celebrated and toasted each other’s children and watched as they have spread their wings and now live in many parts of the world.

“I think this our twilight time,” says Brando, some matter-of-factly.
“You dope, we got an extra hour, it’s daylight saving you know,” haw-haws smarty pants Jacko.
“I know that, you mongrel. What I am trying to say is that we may not be around here much longer,” shouts Marlon.
“Have you got something serious wrong with yer? Is it cancer? Is your heart?” Jacko asks with a pained look on his face.
Marlon: “I am not at death’s door you silly bugger. I am just saying that we are that age when we have to give some thought for the hear-after.”
Jacko: “You sit there and fart all day thinking about the here-after. I am going to be thinking about the here and now. Anyway, pass us another bottle of the glorious here and now.”
Marlon: “Yer’not dead are yer? Get it yourself.”
Jacko: “You daft git.”

Marlon: "All I wanted to say was that should I die before you, would look after the funeral arrangements. I will have everything written down and mostly paid for. I would do the same for you."

Jacko: "You still got a bit of sense left in you, you old mug. Of course, I will do that, would not have it any other way."

A few days later they are all having a few at the Bowral Returned Soldiers’ Leagues Club. It is a kind a church for most senior citizens because it is a tangible link with the many who perished in the two world wars. Each year many if not all are remembered on Anzac Day. Compared to other entertainment areas, the RSL really does look after its members. For the seniors it is also a kind of refuge to meet and greet people you would not see often except at church and funerals, both of which are sometimes referred to as the new social clubs.

There is Eileen who still owns and runs the hairdressers and beauty salon and she is, of course, mother hen of this group.  There’s Joan who volunteers at the library, Jeanne who helps out at the meals-on-wheels for ailing folks, Allison who does nothing very much but is always at her prettiest best … even gone past 74. There are quite few others and yet others who come and say hello and stop for a chat.

Jacko: “Heyoup everybody. The old bugger is saying he is going to die one of these days. His blood tests are good, his heart is OK, kidneys are trotting on, lots of aches and pains … and this and that … but he told me the other that we were all going into the twilight zone.”

Eilleen: “What is bothering you my sugar bun Marlon? Is something seriously worrying you? Or this git just taking the piss?”

Jacko: “Tell her, tell her”.

Marlon: “Don’t listen to that senile twit who calls himself my life-long friend. With pals like him … I was just saying that since I had just celebrated my 80th recently, the next decade looked a bit daunting … somebody said on radio that more people die in their eighties than at any other time in their lives. That is why I told him the eighties were a twilight time, not the Twilight Zone … although for him it could be the TZ.”

Jeanne: “Marlon don’t be afraid. Just take one day and one ache and one pain as it comes and goes. If you worry about it too much you might do yourself a serious injury or something. We don’t want anything happening to you or anyone. …

Jacko: “See, see, see. That is what I was trying to tell him…”

Eillen: “Your one to talk Jacko … do you know, he is turning out to be a regular good customer in the beauty department. I must say I am very proud that Jacko is really taking care of himself …

Marlon: “What, what …What has the silly git gone and done now?

Eilleen: “Jacko shall I tell him … or will you …?”

Jacko: “Oh OK blabber mouth … you might as well since you ….”

Eilleen: “Well, Jacko is having his face looked after … getting rid of the tramlines on his forehead, the chook’s feet on the sides of eyes, the bags under his eyes and a little touch up to his hair while he is having his hair cut. And, oh, he does love a head massage. He tells me he is a once-a-weeker at the Chinese massage parlour and once a fortnight at the physio. All I can say well Jacko and keep it up.”

Marlon: “OK boyo, you blithering twit, what have you got to say for yourself.

Jacko, amid some boisterous applause: “It is not a full paint job, just a touch up.”

And everybody fell around in heaps of laughter.

Parting shot: Eilleen: If any male here is feeling that macho cringe, got news for you. More and more men of all ages are reaching out for the men's beauty creams, the salons, health spas and this and that.

And Jacko is dating Lianne!

Based on a story related to me, have changed the names and the settings.


Found this somewhere:

The ironic thing about the Boring Old Farts Touring Association is that they were actually warding off ageing, simply by being part of a social group.
The Blue Zones project, which studies people who live to 100 or more, says one of the nine keys to longevity is being part of a social group.
The Okinawans in Japan, who are among the longest lived people on the planet, have a tradition of forming a social group called a “moai”.

The other eight keys to living a long life are: exercise naturally; have a purpose; downshift your life to create less stress; eat until you’re 80 per cent full; slant your diet towards plants; drink one to two glasses of wine a day; belong to a faith-based community; put family first.


Excerpt for 1001 nights:

They recount that in the city of Kaukaban in Yemen there was a man named Abu Hasan of the Fadhli tribe who left the Bedouin life and became a townsman and the wealthiest of merchants. His wife died while both were young, and his friends pressed him to marry again.
Weary of their pressure, Abu Hasan entered into negotiations with the old women who procure matches, and married a woman as beautiful as the moon shining over the sea. To the wedding banquet he invited kith and kin, ulema and fakirs, friends and foes, and all of his acquaintances.
The whole house was thrown open to feasting: There were five different colors of rice, and sherbets of as many more; kid goats stuffed with walnuts, almonds, and pistachios; and a young camel roasted whole. So they ate and drank and made merry.
The bride was displayed in her seven dresses -- and one more -- to the women, who could not take their eyes off her. At last the bridegroom was summoned to the chamber where she sat enthroned. He rose slowly and with dignity from his divan; but in do doing, for he was over full of meat and drink, he let fly a great and terrible fart.
In fear for their lives, all the guests immediately turned to their neighbors and talked aloud, pretending to have heard nothing.
Mortified, Abu Hasan turned away from the bridal chamber and as if to answer a call of nature. He went down to the courtyard, saddled his mare, and rode off, weeping bitterly through the night.


The Hodja was sent to the Kurds as an envoy. Immediately upon his arrival he was invited to a banquet. He put on his fur coat and went. In the middle of the conversation he suddenly let a fart.
They said to him, "It is scandalous to fart like that."
"What?" he replied. "How was I to know that the Kurds would understand when I farted in Turkish?"

    When terrorists attacked our home in Nairobi

    Human Kindness
    True stories that reveal the depths of the human experience

    $19.99 / £12.99 Edited by: Renee Hollis
    Format: Hardback, 240 Pages
    ISBN: 9781925820058 Publisher: Emotional Inheritance Series: Timeless Wisdom Buy from an Online Retailer Buy In US/Canada

    Kindness comes in many forms and affects all of us. As Mark Twain said, ‘Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.’ And while a kind gesture can often simply make someone feel better about their day, sometimes — as the twenty-five true stories collected here show — it can save a life. Sourced from around the world, these are stories of the everyday and the extraordinary. From the woman who stopped a suicidal man from jumping just by taking the time to listen to him, to the couple who fostered a baby they found abandoned in a rubbish bin when no one else could help; from the students who came to the rescue of an elderly man fallen on black ice, to the response of a terrorist leader when confronted by a young child’s cries for her favourite doll — these are stories of unexpected kindness that had a lasting impact on the recipient. Interspersed between the stories are quotes about kindness by people as diverse as Audrey Hepburn, Lao Tzu, Ellen DeGeneres and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The result is a book that explores all that is best about human nature. The ‘Timeless Wisdom’ series of books showcases a diverse range of true stories collected from
    around the world, all contributed by mature writers as part of an international competition. Interspersed between the stories are memorable quotes touching on each book’s theme. The resulting books are inspiring, surprising and profoundly enriching.
    The author
    Renée Hollis is an author, photographer and organizer of collaborative projects for creative artists.

    Below is a contribution to the book by my St Teresa's classmates, Sultan Somjee, quite a brilliant man in many spheres of thinking life especially in the areas of anthropology, human museums, and story telling. As an author he is a master craftsman.

    When the terrorists attacked our home

    Sultan Somjee September, 2018

    I was seven-year old when the terrorists attacked our home. We lived in an isolated house in Eastleigh on the outskirts of Nairobi. It was a stone house surrounded by a twelve-foot high bamboo fence that my grandfather had built to keep away hyenas from the forested Mathare River valley about ten kilometres away. Behind the house was a thirty feet high thorn fence of the St Teresa’s Catholic mission and then, then, there were no other buildings or trees around.
    Around mid-1951, we began hearing about an insurgency brewing in Kenya. The elders talked about it on their evening walks. In the same breath, they talked about India’s recently ended a hundred yearlong freedom movement and the violence it entailed. Sometimes, I accompanied my grandfather on his walks with his peers because his vision was failing and he had difficulties seeing in the evening. A year later, in 1952, the governor declared the state of emergency. It was then that we learnt that the gang that had attacked our house was called the Mau Mau, a freedom movement against British colonialism in Kenya. I feared as much as I hated the Mau Mau. To me they were the terrorists, who had looted our home and terrified us.
    It was around two am in the dead of night when I heard the door break like there was an explosion. The crash that seemed to come out of pitch darkness shocked me out of my sleep. It was so intense that even today more than half a century later, I cringe every time when I hear a door slammed. A rock jumped twice on the floor and landed near my bed. Splinters of wood weighed down on my mosquito net like a haul of shells and shrimps in the fisherman’s net. We lived in one room. We were a family of five, my parents, my elder brother and my four-year-old sister. The revolutionaries entered immediately. It all happened at once: the bang, the rock, wood splinters flying about the room, and then the phantom faces, their bewildered eyes and sweaty faces set in black wiry dreadlocks. I felt their looks pressing me down. Like ants, they spread around the room with clubs and machetes. One stood over my mother with a club and another over my father with

    a machete. A smell like that of caged jungle animals at the zoo filled the room. Later, it was reported on the radio that a contingent of the Mau Mas lived in the caves of the Mathare Valley and that the residents of Eastleigh were asked to immediately report any suspicious character to the police. The guerrillas who roamed from late evenings to dawn were in two groups: forest guerrillas who mostly attacked white plantation owners, and urban guerrillas who attacked residences in the towns. We were, most probably, attacked by the urban guerrillas.
    At that moment of the horror of the attack on our house, all I saw was the  terrorists’ bloody eyes scuttling about the room, impatient and jumpy like a flock of trapped birds. When one of them looked at me, I felt stabbed. I saw my father dragged across the room and tied to a chair. They gagged my parents with dirty socks left for washing in a bucket. My brother and I sat back to back on one bed, terrified. Our backs were wet, absorbing each other’s sweat. I continued looking down, pressing my chin to my chest and calling on God to help, while all the time, I felt bloodshot eyes tearing into me.
    They started emptying clothes and whatever there was from the cupboards. From under the heap of clothes that they had made on the floor, my sister’s doll cried musically, which fascinated one of them. He stood there momentarily and then picked up the pink plastic English doll and began turning it over, listening to the melodic note from its perforated back. Hearing the sound of her doll crying, my little sister woke up suddenly, bright eyed in wonder, smiling and talking excitedly as four-year olds do, chattering to herself, and walking round her cot holding the bars of the metal frame. Then she stopped and watched, her eyes widened, inquisitively, puzzled at what was happening.
    “My dhingly doll!” she wailed in Swahili. “I want my dhingly doll.” She began crying and looking around for Mother.
    The General, as I heard them calling their leader, turned around and looked at my sister. His bloodshot eyes stilled on her. I froze. He was over six feet tall. He stood there like a giant by the cot. He had his palms on his hips, arms akimbo. Then his red eyes softened like a father’s eyes put to the child appealing for a favour.
    “Don’t take the little girl’s ka-rendi, and anything else that belongs to this child,” he instructed his men. When finally the Mau Mau left after what seemed like a night of

    plunder and terror, they had taken everything in the house that they could carry. My clothes, shoes and even my Mechano set was gone. But there was a pile of dresses, toys and shoes left behind on the floor. The revolutionaries had left behind everything that belonged to my little sister.
    Years went by. The horrific propaganda against the Mau Mau lessened, and the story of the attack on our home faded into a distant nightmare. Kenya became independent in 1963. We celebrated liberation from colonial rule and end of racism only to pave a way for nationalism and brutal dictatorships that followed. I completed my high school, joined the university, went overseas to do post- graduate studies and returned in the early seventies to join the University of Nairobi as a research fellow in material culture. I was interested in Africa’s indigenous cultures and its history from ‘the people’s point of view’. I had started leaning towards socialism and joined the rural theatre that was an outfit of the underground against the despot Jomo Kenyatta.
    I worked with the communities of peasants, farm and factory workers in an area that was known as the hub of the Mau Mau. I came across former Mau Mau fighters and almost everyone had a relative in the anti-colonial organization. Ironically, the first play, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I will marry when I want), that we put up was about the Mau Mau. The experience had an impact on me for I began to think differently about the Mau Mau. They were no longer the wild terrorists who had looted and traumatized me and my family but revolutionaries fighting for liberation from colonialism. In fact, they became heroes in my young man’s mind. I read everything I could lay my hands on about the Mau Mau. I even drew them from photographs. The frightful images of their eyes in my mind changed to those of heroic warriors with idealism shining on their faces that spoke of sacrifice for freedom and human dignity.
    Today, as I turned 75, my mind sometimes immerses in reflections from the past that come and go like waves of an ocean washing so vast a shore of my lifetime. There are self-thoughts on the good deeds and bad deeds I have done. Some fill me with pride about my achievements, and some with sadness about my deceits and failures. Some are full of fear and even hate that sometimes I speak out loudly to myself in abuses hurled at someone or something. Self-talk, I have come to accept, comes with aging in some people. Sometimes, a dream from my

    childhood returns in a scream. The sound of the door crashing down on me has stayed with me. The image of the bloodshot eyes of the Mau Mau revisits me. Sigmund Freud would call them childhood memories in my sub-conscious and construct a theory around it to write an essay on my personality. However, when awake and with a conscious mind, when I talk about the night when the Mau Mau attacked our house in Eastleigh in Nairobi, when I was seven years old, I speak about the compassion of the leader they called the General. How he looked at my four year old sister and kindness filled his bloodshot eyes even as he held the deadly machete in one hand.
    I speak about this incident as a reflection on humanity that I have come to know we all have in us. That even the fiercest looking people from other countries, other cultures, and other religions that we see or hear about on the media as enemies carry compassion in their hearts. One day, I wish to write a story for children called ‘When the terrorists attacked our home’.

    Alyssa Healy: smashing 'keeper smashes batting world record

    Alyssa Healy after her record-breaking unbeaten 148 in Sydney yesterday: foto courtesy of ESPN CRICINFO

    Alyssa's century came off only 46 balls, the fastest ever!

    AS SOME of you will know ... I did not play much sport as a youngster, only a little soccer and kitted myself out in all black a-la-Lev Yashin, the superstar Russian keeper of the 1960s. I learnt to love sports when I became an instant sports reporter. That has been true of most sports I covered but especially of cricket. In my life, I have only ever played social cricket. I learnt the game from players and coaches.

    However, from those earliest of days in Kenya, reporting on cricket, I came to love the game with a passion only reserved for true bloods or former players. For nearly six decades, I have watched most of the greats (especially since the arrival of cricket on television) when an opportunity presented itself in the UK, Australia and a little bit in East Africa.  The world of international cricket has kept me smiling with happiness at the exquisite skills the world's best have been able to put on show. My life has been nurtured further everyone time a new generation superstar has strutted the batting wicket or hurled a ferocious ball splintering the stumps or magically spun an imaginably invisible ball that has just as magically ripped off the stumps, leaving the batsman shaking his in disbelief. The game of cricket is blessed with an abundance of miracles. It is the nature of the game that humans have soared to the cricket stars, leaving in their wake mere mortals open-mouthed, delighted, shocked, stunned, gleeful, or simply broken-hearted. 

    That is the men's game. However, these days, I am an unabashed fan of the women's game, especially the Australian women's which has continued to get better and better with each year of cricket. They have created their own superstars: all-rounder Ellyse Perry for me is the epitome She is the great quality diamond the game has. Everything about her is special, she requires no marketing, she is a natural. Then there is Meg Lanning who is all grace and fury when it comes to batting and until yesterday held the world record for batting at 133 and watch with admiration as her batting partner set the new mark of 148 not out against the somewhat hapless Sir Lankans who nonetheless still managed to hold their heads high and their dignity intact as they ran to show their admiration of the batting lesson and congratulated Alyssa as she walked off the field.
    In cricketing terms, like Perry and Lanning, Healey is something special. As a wicketkeeper, she is just as dramatic and inventive as she is a batter. Blessed with a fine cricketing brain, she is a thinking cricketer and, being a little biased, I love to listen to. Oh, she is plenty tongue-in-cheek but never derisive or dismissive but entertaining. Always. She is a natural fun person.  Pushing for a 3-nil whitewash of Sri Lankans, she hit 148 off 69 balls including 19 fours and 7 sixes to all parts of the ground. Brilliant.
    I must confess each summer (north or south) brings a new kind of heaven and I am often driven to abandon the men's game for the female version. However, when it comes to T20 cricket, gotta watch both. Thank God for recording facilities on television. Have to remind my self to hit the treadmill every hour or so of cricket. Happy to do that when the cricket is the mighty chalice of the exquisite game.

    Every one of the current Australian women's cricket squad is special and they do the country and game great honour. 

    Cricket rankings
    One Day International batting
    1. Smriti Mandhana (a delightful, stylish, India)
    2. Ellyse Perry (Aus)
    3.Amy Satherwaite (NZ)
    4. Elyssa Healy (Aus)

    T20 batting
    1. Suzie Bates NZ
    2. Meg Lanning (Aus)
    3. StefanieTaylor (WI)
    4. Smriti Mandhana (Ind)

    ODI bowling
    1. Jess Jonassen (Aus)
    2. Jhulan Goswami (India's greatest, veteran, icon)
    3. Ellyse Perry (Aus)
    4. Sana Mir (Pak)

    All-rounder batting

    1. Ellyse Perry
    2. Deepti Sharma (India)
    3. Stefanie Taylor (WI)
    4. Dabe van Niekerk (SA)

    All-rounder bowling

    1. Ellyse Perry
    2. Sophie Devine (NZ)
    3. Stefanie Taylor (WI)
    4. Deandra Dottin (WI)

    Currently, Australia comfortably heads the rankings in both forms of the game. 

    Muriel Thampy, a celebration of a much loved teacher and mother


    LIKE ANYWHERE else, the schools in Kenya could boast many truly loved teachers and educators and a few forgettable ones. Mrs Muriel Thampy among a group of teachers at the St Teresa's Girls School in Eastleigh who to this day remain unforgettable, cherished and to whom many, many students feel indebted to for always. She will always be remembered as a brilliant secondary school maths teacher.  Mrs Thampy was widowed early in the marriage and she raised seven children all on her own. She never flinched. Always quietly resolute. Her children have migrated to various parts of the world but should be there for the memorial service.

    A mum who worked hard and did her best for us, we were dressed very well and every year she took us to Mombasa and Lamu for a holiday. There were many little things she did for us, which we appreciated later. == Radha Shridharan
    Mrs Thampy's flock (ex-students) and family are getting together in London to celebrate what could have been her 100th birthday on November 3, Mass and restaurant lunch. If you would like to join them please give call Radha's mobile number:07900 683 519.... filling fast.

    If her ex-students would like to remember her, please send your thoughts to and I will forward them to Radha.

    My dear Radha, 
    I was so happy to hear about  the Centenary  Memorial Celebration for  your dear Mum to be held on November 3, 2019 and I thank you for your kind invitation.

    I have wonderful memories of our early days in Nairobi, when both our families got together at weekends or holidays. I had a few sleepovers at yours in Nagara.  I remember those hundreds of  steps  we climbed to  get to your home.  I know my sister, Christine, has written to you and we agreed that both your family and ours had similar backgrounds.  I think having our mums as teachers probably stood us in good stead later in life!!  “Miss Muriel” was my maths teacher in secondary school – but despite being a close family friend, she never once showed me any favouritism. On the contrary, she  was a lot more strict when it came to me.

    I can honestly say I wasn’t her best student – maybe one of the worst. I showed no interest at all in the subject .   Geometry, Algebra. Trignometry all brought me out in cold sweats!!!.......however, in my final year “mocks” ..the 7 marks out of 100 I  got in Algebra  was a huge achievement for me!!!  Aunty Muriel was not one bit impressed  – and my mum, Prexy, even less so!  In the end they had to concede that I was never going to be a “Maths Girl”…...Never!!!!! 

    I am not sure if you remember this, but one Sunday your family came over  to  lunch when we lived in  Fort Hall Road  ( 60 years ago).   While both the mums made themselves comfortable in the “sitting room” drinking many cups of tea and putting the world to rights,  their menfolk cooked  the most delicious Pilau with chopped  “Uplands Chipolatas” in a giant “Sufria”.  They did the best they could – however, my dad was not impressed with having to constantly top up the  “jiko” with charcoal ...We never heard the end of it!  It was after that fiasco that we got our first proper cooker!  Happy days!  
    You children were a credit to your mum – she was a wonderful mother and role model, not just to her own children, but to the three of us.  Strict but loving.  I am so glad you are celebrating her life and achievements next month – she will be looking down on you all with that special smile! 

    Sadly, as I explained to you, I am unable to attend the Memorial Celebrations, much as I would have liked to,  as that is the day  I will be attending  a  Memorial Service  for the  deceased  students of the Dr Ribeiro Goan School Nairobi.

    Give my love to all the family and enjoy the celebrations. I look forward to hearing all about it and seeing the photos.

    Lots of Love and God Bless,


    Leela Aruna Muriel Ashokh

    Top pic the serene Mrs Thampy and with the teachers at St Teresa's ...everyone a gem!

    Toronto old-timers, "them good old days" here again!!!



    There was a time when retirees languished because of scant offerings for them by the motherhouse, the Goan Overseas Association (Toronto). The deficiency spawned two seniors’ clubs in the West-end of Toronto and two in the East, to cater to their social needs.  However, the situation changed for the better when Greta Dias was appointed Director of Retirees at the G.O.A.(T). She came in with a vision of inclusivity and has held court for eleven continuous years.  She has been conjuring up a variety of social offerings for the retirees, making them theirs for the taking.
    With a dimple in her cheek and a mischievous glint in her eye, Greta challenged the retirees to re-visit the nostalgic 50s & 60s and re-live the Bohemian non-conformist days of flower-power and hippiedom, at an event on September 15, 2019, held at the Kalyaan Centre in Mississauga. People responded with alacrity. It is likely that they rummaged through the old tin trunks in the attic to find suitable abandoned apparel of the period. Some simply improvised. Justice was done to the clarion call.
    Needless to say, music and an efficient M.C. go hand-in-hand-- like a horse and carriage-- and are conducive to a favourable outcome. MUSIC MACHINE provided appropriate music that resonated with the aging generation.  Joan Rosario was in her element as she presided over the proceedings as the M.C.   John Noronha and Delphine Francis joined the band and belted out familiar vocals to liven up things. For a while, the revellers went quiet while they were wolfing down the goodies in their plate of hors d'oeuvres.  Enoe D’Souza and Maurice Dalby emerged as the best-dressed hippie couple.
    While John and Alexandria Sylvan doled out toe-tickling music, KONKAN DELITE provided comestibles to tickle the palette, after Bertha Carvalho said Grace.  A multitude of helpers provided seamless assistance.  B.R D’S. was everywhere with her camera when she was not serving drinks. Jennifer Castelino’s finger-prints were on the centre-pieces. And, somebody was thoughtful enough to provide paper and pencil to book dances, as was the practice in days gone by.

    Everybody seemed to know everybody else.  Co-mingling in a congenial atmosphere came naturally to all.  Who could have asked for anything more?

    Kenya night a huge success from all accounts

    According to friends, the first Kenya Nite in London was a huge success. Thanks to a special friend who sent me the photos below.  Any names?